Government of Canada supports Muskeg Lake Cree Nation jurisdiction over child and family services

Ottawa: The Government of Canada is continuing the important work in full partnership with Indigenous Peoples to reform child and family services so that every Indigenous child has the opportunity to grow up in their communities, immersed in their cultures, and surrounded by loved ones.

Far too many children and families have been affected and suffer due to the broken child and family services system. We are addressing systemic issues within child and family services and are committed to working with Indigenous partners and communities to support children and families as they continue their healing journey. The Government of Canada is working hard to support Indigenous communities so that children and families never have to be subject to a broken system again.

In June 2020, Muskeg Lake Cree Nation Chief and Council, within Treaty 6 territory, informed the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, and Saskatchewan Minister of Social Services, that the Nation was taking the next step on its journey toward full exercise of jurisdiction over child and family services under the Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families, thus transitioning to an implementation of their law based on the Cree values of wâhkôtowin and miyo-ohpikihâwasowin.

Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, Canada and Saskatchewan will begin coordination agreement discussions to ensure a safe, effective, and respectful transition of jurisdiction over child and family services to Muskeg Lake Cree Nation. Muskeg Lake Cree Nation has been working internally to strengthen and identify the key steps to exercise full jurisdiction in relation to child and family services. To this end, it has taken interim steps to establish a Muskeg Lake Cree Nation Kinship Council that guides the Nation during the transition period.

The Government of Canada will continue to support First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities in developing their own child and family services models that reflect their values and traditions so that we realize our shared goals of prioritizing the best interest of children, increasing the number of communities exercising jurisdiction in relation to child and family services, and decreasing the number of children in care.

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